Sunday, February 23, 2014

Bits, Bobs, Odds & Sods - February 2014



Attic –  The Invocation

Van Records - 2012

Do you like King Diamond and Mercyful Fate? Well, you probably don’t like them as much as the guys in Attic.  Hailing from Germany, the band is probably the best Fate/KD doppelgänger in the history of Metal.  No, they are not helmed by a King, but rather a Meister – Meister Cagliostro.  Guess what?  Cagliostro sports ye old face paint and is a dead ringer for King Diamond!  The songs are about witches, covens, Satan, ghosts, etc… and the only thing that really separates Attic from Mercyful Fate/King Diamond is the guitars, which aren’t as lethally sharp and razor-etched as those of Sherman, Denner or LaRocque.  This is a minor quibble really, and the songs will make you think that you are listening to some long lost King Diamond demos.  If you need a fix of that sound while you wait for some new material from the King, then you could do worse than Attic. Check it out:


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3 Inches of Blood – Warriors of the Great White North

Self Financed - 2014

Tireless road dogs 3 Inches of Blood have just dropped an excellent documentary of a recent tour of their Canadian homeland.  It’s a fifty minute journey with the band through the various stops and shows as they blast ripping Metal to the masses.  It’s a nice insight in to the life of a true touring act that is still accessible to the average fan.  You get to see firsthand that the band works their collective asses off for everything they’ve achieved, and that they certainly aren’t living any kind of rockstar lifestyle. In fact, this documentary is self-financed and you can purchase it from Vimeo for a mere $4.99.  Go buy the damn thing here!  Check it out:


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Blues Pills – Devil Man EP

Nuclear Blast Records - 2014


Have you had enough of the “Occult Rock” albums that have glutted the market recently?  You know, those albums with a female lead singer, occult lyrics and proto-Metal riffs? Thankfully, Blues Pills from Sweden doesn’t have anything to do with that trend, rather they sound like Adele fronting Sabbath or Zeppelin.  Holy shit Elin Larsson (the lead singer) has some of the most amazing pipes I have ever heard!  Her voice is tremendously powerful, and the band plays bluesy, heavy, 70s rock of the best kind.  If you like Zep, Bad Company, Scorpion Child, Black Sabbath etc… then you should definitely pick this four track EP up.  It’s available on CD as well as on a really sweet gatefold 10”.  Check it out:    


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That's it for this month my friends. 

As Always, MAKE MINE METAL!







Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Bombastic Baker’s Dozen

The Top 13 Metal Albums of 2013
 (and some other stuff)

Muthas, 2013 was yet another great year for Metal and we have picked a Baker’s Dozen of the best metal albums of the year. We’ve also picked the best live releases, best reissues, best concerts and the biggest disappointments of the year.  Read on!

The Thirteen Best Albums of 2013

2013 brought an avalanche of quality steel to abuse your tattered eardrums. These are the thirteen albums that dominated our turntables, CD players, and MP3 players at The Metal Blog of Metal. 

Enforcer – Death By Fire

Swedish speedsters Enforcer crush skulls on their third LP with a stellar mixture of U.S. Speed, NWOBHM and Scandinavian Glory Metal.  This is a very focused, all killer-no filler collection of ripping Speed Metal and at just under 40 minutes, it's the perfect length for vinyl.  Take a listen to the awesome triumvirate of “Mesmerized By Fire,” “Take Me Out of This Nightmare,” and “Crystal Suite” if you want to hear superb traditional metal done like the titans of ye olden daze.  If only Iron Maiden could conjure up something as compelling rather than being an old man prog band.



Orchid – The Mouth of Madness

The Band That Can Do No Wrong continues their dominance with their latest full length disc of 70s doom.  The Mouth of Madness is what everybody wanted 13 to sound like, which of course, it didn’t.  Orchid serves up more amazingly hooky traditional metal as if they’ve been doing this since 1971.  Damn these guys are good.  Once again, Theo Mindell’s art matches the music and adds to the overall experience - believe it or not, things like cover art and fonts matter.  You should immediately buy this platter of crushing doom mastery. 



Holy Grail – Ride The Void

California metallions Holy Grail return with an album chock full of guitar wizardry and catchy anthems.  It’s easy to see that they will be one of the modern traditional metal bands that will gain a large audience. Once again the songs are loaded with insanely tasty riffs, leads and solos, as well as a pounding bottom end and the masterful vocals of James Paul Luna. They also have an amazing work ethic and are tireless road warriors.  We managed to catch them twice this year alone in two separate cities.  Hailz to them for cranking out a disc that simply announces – WE CAME TO SHRED!



Saxon – Sacrifice

Speaking of road warriors, Saxon has released yet another album of rock hard traditional metal. This time they have returned to more of the power metal sound they had on Metalhead, rather than the midpaced material of their last album.  The result is excellent and another solid entry in their lengthy catalog. All hail the mighty Saxon



Hell – Curse & Chapter

Hell’s second official album is about 80% new material with a few re-recorded ancient demos.  It’s a great follow up to Human Remains and dispels any fears that Hell wouldn’t be able to put out new material to match their 80s output.  Once again they offer up a riff-packed journey through diabolically dangerous metallic landscapes. Definitely worth the coin and 
one of the best of the year. Buy it!



Night Demon – Night Demon

This is absolutely our favorite release of 2013 here at The Metal Blog of Metal.  Our opinion of the album hasn’t changed since we reviewed it here back in May.  It’s an amazing EP that showcases a superb NWOBHM sound akin to Grim Reaper, Iron Maiden and Diamond Head.  It’s a goddamn metal masterpiece in every way possible!  We eagerly await their full length LP in 2014 and it should kick much ass.  Hailz boys and thanks for a great EP!  



U.D.O. – Steelhammer

U.D.O. the band and Udo the man finally crank out an album to match the ferocity of the latest Accept releases and ditch that shitty electronic guitar sound that had marred their last couple of albums.  There are a couple of weird diversions on the album, but it is dominated by vicious, pounding steel the majority of the time. Check out our full review here. This is definitely worth adding to your U.D.O./Accept collection. 



Witch Cross – Axe To Grind

Who ever thought Witch Cross would release another album? Not us, that’s for sure.  1984’s Fit For Fight is one of the crown jewels of Danish metal, so it would be tough to follow up.  Unfortunately, original vocalist Alex “Savage” Nyborg Madsen did not take part in the reunion, but, fortunately, the band chose Kevin Moore as his replacement.  Moore is a former touring member of Oliver/Dawson Saxon, and as a result, Axe To Grind has a heavy Saxon influence.  This is straight down the middle, meat and potatoes, traditional heavy metal.  It’s nothing fancy, but it’s executed brilliantly and is very enjoyable.  Sure, it doesn’t sound like “Tears of a Clown,” but it still kicks all kinds of ass.  Pick it up!



Motorhead – Aftershock

So who thought we might never hear another Motorhead album?  Thankfully, Lemmy and the boys managed to record one hell of a great album considering Lemmy’s health problems.  Amazingly it’s much more aggressive than the somewhat lackluster The World Is Ours and there’s not a dull moment on it.  It’s probably their best since Inferno and we have you banging your head with wild abandon.  Isn’t that what you’ve come to expect from Motorhead? Damn straight it is.



Vicious Rumors – Electric Punishment

Vicious Rumors continues down the path that they forged with Razorback Killers and put out another excellent album that showcases their superb USPM sound.  Unfortunately, this album has gotten lost in the shuffle do to vocalist Brian Allen having to leave the band due to family issues. Don't let that dissuade you as there are many killer cuts on it such as “I Am The Gun,” “Electric Punishment,” and “Thirst For A Kill.”  Get it!



Black Sabbath – 13

We expected this album to be an unmitigated disaster, but, amazingly enough, it’s a good album.  Certainly the cover art is completely lazy bullshit and the album title sucks ass.  Also, the lack of Bill Ward is very noticeable and the album is another victim of shithead Rick Rubin’s loudness wars.  However, Tony Iommi’s riffs are amazing as ever, Geezer’s bass is crushing and Ozzy’s voice is acceptable.  The tracks sound like either a very good early Ozzy album, or a Dio Sabbath album with Ozzy on vocals.  13 doesn’t invoke memories of the Sabs 70s mastery (if you want that, listen to the new Orchid), but it’s not a black mark on their legacy 
either. Be sure to pick up the special edition with the track "Naivete In Black" on it, as that song is excellent.



BAT – Primitive Age (Demo)

This was a late entry to the list, but it’s very worthy of high praise.  BAT is made up of Ryan Waste from Municipal Waste and Volture, Felix Griffin of DRI fame, and Nick Poulos of Cannabis Corpse and Volture.  What we have here is greasy, dirty speed metal/thrash that pays a great amount of homage to the mighty Venom.  Waste does his best Chronos on vox and bass and the result is cranking steel fury that will please both the oldest and youngest Thrashers alike.  It might only be a demo, but it’s better than the majority of slickly produced albums that are constantly foisted upon the Metal buying public.  Go here and download it for free!  I hope they do a 7” vinyl release asap!  Total wreckage indeed!



Satan – Life Sentence

Well holy shit, this is awesome!  One usually cringes when an old NWOBHM band has a reunion and promises a return to their original sound.  Normally the result is a sub-par collection of middling garbage that fails to re-capture the magic of their early material.  That couldn’t be further from the truth with Life Sentence because it’s a face-melting collection of NWOBHM excellence.  Brian Ross sounds great and the songs will wreck your neck like it’s 1982.  This should have been the follow up to Court In The Act back in the day.  Buy this album immediately if not sooner! Damn it's good!



Live – In the Raw!  - The best live albums/DVDs

Testament – Dark Roots of Thrash

Bay Area bruisers Testament deliver a new live album/DVD that perfectly captures their current live set.  The camera work on the DVD is particularly good and it is one of the most cinematic treatments we have seen of concert footage.  The setlist is evenly split between classics and current material, but omits most of their 90s output.  Thankfully the mix is much better than the last couple of times we saw Testament live, because you can actually hear Chuck's vocals!  If you like Testament then you should definitely add this to your collection.



Dio – Finding The Sacred Heart – Live In Philly 1986

This CD/DVD features Dio at the height of their popularity with their massive stage show featuring lasers, knights in plate armor and a huge, animatronic dragon.  The band sounds great and Ronnie is in fine voice.  Viewing the DVD is a somewhat melancholy experience because it will remind you that the Man On The Silver Mountain has taken his final bow, but seeing him at his ferocious best helps take your mind off of it.  Long Live Rock n Roll!



Iron Maiden – Maiden England ‘88

Another in a long line of Maiden archival releases that really illustrates that Maiden knows how to make money like Gene Simmons.  What you get is the legendary Maiden England ’88 show on CD/DVD that showcases Maiden on the cusp of slipping into disarray, but still at their peak. They still sounded great at this point and Seventh Son was a decent enough album, but mediocrity was waiting in the wings.  The second disc of the DVD is especially nice because it features part 3 of the history of Iron Maiden as well as the long out of print 12 Wasted Years documentary.  



Best Reissues

2013 featured several excellent reissues that were long awaited in the Metal world.

Heretic From The Vault…Tortured and Broken

Finally!!!  Metal Blade Records released this excellent box set that includes the Torture Knows No Boundary EP, the Breaking Point LP along with tons of bonus tracks and a DVD!  It’s well worth the cost for the EP alone, which had never officially been released on CD. Grab this one before it goes out of print!



Jag Panzer – Tyrants, Ample Destruction, Shadow Thief, Dissident Alliance

We never thought there would be official reissues of Jag Panzer’s early catalog due to disagreements between former guitarist Joey Tafolla and the rest of the band.  Somehow that was all worked out and not only do we get these reissues, but Joey is back in the band!  You can pitch your shitty bootlegs in the trash and snap up these reissues from High Roller Records in a variety of formats – CD, colored Vinyl, Picture Disc and even a luxurious Picture Disc box set.  All the releases have been nicely remastered with loads of bonus tracks and restored artwork.  Buy or die!



Y&T – Earthquake: The A&M Years 1981-1985

This is a very nice 4 disc box set with the best output form San Francisco legends Y&T.  The set includes the Earthquake, Black Tiger, Meanstreak, In Rock We Trust, and Down For The Count studio albums along with the Open Fire and BBC Friday Rock Show live albums.  This release showcases Y&T at the peak of their careers and is fairly cheap as well.  If you don’t already own these albums, you should definitely buy this and enjoy the hard rocking excellence of a band that should have been huge. 



Witch Cross All That’s Fit For Fighting

This superb 3CD/1 DVD box set essentially purges the vaults of everything Witch Cross did before their new album Axe To Grind.  You get the ultra-classic Fit For Fight along with all their 80s demos and, amazingly enough, a DVD of a live show and music videos(!) that had never seen the light of day.  It’s all wrapped up in a very nice, thick, flip top box with a magnetic closure.  Truly an exceptional release and a must have for fans of classic Metal.



Best Concerts

Metal Alliance Tour – 4/7/13 Cincinnati, Ohio

Great package tour featuring, Anthrax, Exodus, Municipal Waste, High On Fire and Holy Grail ripping it up for 5 hours!  All the bands sounded great and it was a real treat to get our copies of Among The Living and Worship Music signed.  The only complaint was that Holy Grail didn’t have a very long set as it would have been nice to hear more from them.

Orange Goblin/Holy Grail/ Lazer Wulf – 10/26/13 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The mighty Orange Goblin tore it up on Halloween weekend in the Steel City.  They played an energetic set featuring songs from most of their albums.  It was their second swing through town in just 6 months and they did not disappoint.  Holy Grail once again was excellent and proved that they should be making the step up to headliner soon.  

Biggest Disappointments

Ghost – Infestissumam

It’s become fashionable to hate on Ghost because of all the coverage they get in the music press, but the problem with their new album doesn’t have anything to do with hype.  The real problem is Infestissumam is mostly boring and forgettable.  The album sounds pleasant enough, but nothing really sticks in the memory after the album is done.  In fact, the If You Have Ghost EP is more interesting and it consists of cover songs.  Try working on some more memorable hooks guys and better luck next time.

Newsted – Heavy Metal Music

We really wanted to like this album and it pains us to have to write this.  Jason is a great guy and his enthusiasm for his new band  and metal is obvious.  Unfortunately, Heavy Metal Music is rather bland and generic and Jason's vocals leave much to be desired.  The whole album sounds like a heavy/alt record that would have been released in 1994. Blah. Also, what’s with all the stupid song titles like “Soldierhead,” “Ampossible,” “Kindevillusion,” and “Futureality?”  Stop that shit Jason, it's goofy.  Here’s hoping that his next album is killer.

Have a great 2014, and, as always, MAKE MINE METAL!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

This Ain't The Summer of Love

Hell – The Age of Nefarious


Nuclear Blast Records – 2013

Muthas, we’re back with a tasty treat of diabolical deliciousness straight outta Hell!  Well actually, it’s a new, four track, mini-LP from the band Hell. The Age of Nefarious features one new track from their second full length Curse & Chapter, and three live tracks from the Bloodstock 2013 festival. 

The new cut “The Age of Nefarious” blasts your ears with rifftacular guitars, theatrical vocals and occult lyrics.  Once again, Hell sounds like a combination of NWOBHM and Mercyful Fate – so no radical changes from 2011’s Human Remains.  The song title and chorus are a spoof on The 5th Dimension’s “Age of Aquarius,” and lyrically, it skewers the hypocrisy of Christianity.  It’s an excellent track and a great preview of Curse & Chapter.  Check it out below:



The other three songs are all live from Bloodstock 2013 – “On Earth As It Is In Hell,” “Blasphemy And The Master,” and “The Oppressors.” These live cuts sound superb and are a good indicator that Hell delivers in a live setting with no problems. “The Oppressors” kicks much ass in particular and will cause you to revisit Human Remains.  

The Age of Nefarious is offered as a digital download from the usual suspects as well as a 10” mini-LP in various colors. The cool thing about the vinyl is that the A-side is 45 rpm, and the B-side, with the live songs, is in 33 rpm!  Now that’s some vinyl weirdness for ya.
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The Bottom Line: Hell has returned with a ripping lead-off single that will please fans of the NWOBHM, Mercyful Fate and music that doesn’t suck.  Get it and buy Curse & Chapter ASAP.  Your immortal soul will thank you.

As always, MAKE MINE METAL!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Pounding Steel?

U.D.O. – Steelhammer


AFM Records -2013

Muthas, the Teutonic Titan Udo is back with an album of original material following last year’s Live In Sofia and the compilation of rare tracks, Celebrator.  There have been some changes in the lineup with the exit of guitarists Stefan Kaufmann and Igor Gianola.  Kaufmann’s leaving is most surprising considering that he had been with the band for years, and was in Accept with Udo.  Kaufmann was also the producer for the last few U.D.O. albums, and his leaving was potentially disastrous.  So how did Steelhammer turn out?  Did U.D.O. shit the bed or did they rise to the challenge presented by the re-energized Accept?   

Fortunately, the answer is mostly positive.  When Stefan Kaufmann left, he took that horribly shitty and sterile guitar sound with him.  I doubt the guitars on Dominator and Rev-Raptor were ever even plugged into an amp.  The production on Steelhammer is miles better than what Kaufmann had been offering up.  The songs also exhibit a new sense of urgency that seemed to be missing from the last couple of albums. Udo the man, and U.D.O. the band, are nothing if not prolific, and the quality of their output may suffer from their high rate of production.  The couple of years between albums in this case has helped the band make most of these songs razor sharp.

Right off the bat, it’s clear that U.D.O. has renewed passion and vigor, because the first two tracks are good and the third track, “Metal Machine” is excellent.  Check out the video for it below:



Unfortunately, the flow of the album screeches to a halt during the next three tracks.  “Basta Ya” is fine musically, but the song is in Spanish, and frankly, I don’t want to listen to a non-English track.  Next up is the horrific ballad “Heavy Rain.” Udo needs to stop it with these ballads as they just don’t suit his voice at all.  No thanks. Then comes “Devil’s Bite” which has incredibly annoying, cheap-ass sounding keyboard flourishes. We are talking 1982 Casio keyboard here, and that shit is not acceptable. Ever. 

The rest of the album (except for the last track) is vicious, pounding Metal that rips faces off.  Check out “Death Ride,” “Never Cross My Way,” and “Take My Medicine.”  If Udo wants to slow things down he should do more cuts like the mid-paced “Love Becomes A Lie” and not that “Heavy Rain” turd.  Oddly, the last song, “Book of Faith” has a bizarre, almost jazzy intro and should have been cut from the album as it's kind of a clunker.  

The only other criticism is that the album is simply too long at fourteen tracks, and would have benefited from some judicious pruning.  Chop out “Basta Ya,” “Heavy Rain,” “Devil’s Bite,” and “Book of Faith” and put them on one of those EPs that AFM is so fond of churning out, and the resulting album would have been ten tight tracks of excellence. 

The album cover is killer, and very evocative of the music that lurks within its steely confines. Album art and design is sadly neglected in the digital age, but it's still important.  More artists should get their shit together and offer up great artwork like that on Steelhammer. Thankfully, that stupid clown/juggalo/whateverthefuck mascot that started with Mastercutor is history. Fuck that guy.

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The Bottom Line:  U.D.O. have released their best album since 1999s Holy, with great production and many cuts of anthemic, crushing steel.  It’s great to see them finally answer the challenge presented by the last couple of Accept albums.  Buy it.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Metal Is On The Rise!

Night Demon – Night Demon



Independent Release – 2012

Muthas, every once in a great while, a new band blasts onto the scene from seemingly nowhere and vaults to the head of the pack. Such is the case with Night Demon and their eponymous debut EP. This all-killer, no-filler thirteen minutes and fifty-five seconds of pure steel, is the best EP we’ve heard in ages. It’s not just The Metal Blog of Metal that thinks this, because Night Demon has already been invited to play the Keep It True festival! They have only released four songs in their entire career, and they are already playing KIT! 

Also, Night Demon is only a three piece band with Jarvis Leatherby on vox/bass, Brent Woodward on guitar and John Crerar on drums. Woodward rips it up on the guitar, Crerar is pounding away like Thunderstick and Jarvis sounds like Sean Harris. Fucking amazing power trio!

So what does this EP sound like? Quite simply, it sounds like the best NWOBHM record that you’ve never heard. Upon hearing this gem, you would swear that this was released in 1980 on Neat Records, and not an independent release in 2012 by a band from Ventura, California. Imagine Diamond Head, Grim Reaper, and D’ianno-era Maiden all mixed together and you can get an idea of the awesomeness. 

The EP kicks off with the blasting rip-ride of “Night Demon” where the band declares that they are coming to destroy your town with the power of Metal. Yes, please. “The Chalice” is a mid-paced, epic track with a tasty, grinding guitar tone. “Ancient Evil” is a galloping cut that recalls the excellence of  Grim Reaper and features lyrics about Cthulhu.  Hell yes!  “The Ritual” closes out the EP with searing guitar riffs, pummeling drums and more superb vocals from Leatherby. 

The band actually has a video for “Night Demon” on YouTube. Check it out below:


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The Bottom Line: This EP kicks ass, and you should buy it. Right now you can download it from Night Demon’s website: http://nightdemon.net/fr_demonslair.cfm  If you need a physical release, the good folks at Shadow Kingdom Records are putting out the EP on CD with remastered sound on 08/06/2013.  Also, the EP is being released on vinyl by Reinig Records and cassette(!) by 7th Pact Records. What you should do right now is buy the $5 download as well as a $12 shirt, so the band can continue producing top notch Metal. Don’t be a shitheel.

As Always, MAKE MINE METAL!




Sunday, March 24, 2013

Anthems To The Mosher At Dusk


Anthrax – Anthems


 Megaforce Records – 2013

Muthas, Anthrax has cranked out a ton of covers in their career, and this year they have released an eight track EP - Anthems - that features six covers of songs from the 70s.  The band offers up songs from Rush, Boston, AC/DC, Journey, Cheap Trick, and Thin Lizzy. The EP also features two versions of the song “Crawl” from Worship Music.  So how does all this sound?  Read on dear reader and we’ll tell you.

First off, the inclusion of not one, but two versions of “Crawl” is ridiculous.  This song was one of the weaker tracks on Worship Music, and the last thing we need is a shitty sounding remix of a mediocre song.  What a waste.  Anthrax should have put two new cuts on this EP to whet the appetite for the next studio album.  Second, do we really need both versions of “Crawl” back to back on the album?  WTF? Oh well, at least they are tracks 7 and 8, which makes it easy to skip these turds.

When it comes to cover songs, bands have a choice: make the song their own, or play it exactly as the original artist did.  Anthrax chose the latter rather than the former and Anthems is a bit disappointing because of it.  Almost all of the covers are exact, note-for-note reproductions of the originals with nary a variation.  It would have been nice to hear a more expansive take on each song by the band. On a more positive note, Joey manfully uses the full scope of his great range to easily mimic everyone from Geddy Lee to Bon Scott to Phil Lynott. 

The highlight of the EP is Journey’s “Keep On Runnin’” which is a bit heavier than the original and is much better as a result.  As the liner notes mention, Joey auditioned for Anthrax by singing Journey songs and he effortlessly pulls off Steve Perry’s vocals.  Check it out below:



Thin Lizzy’s “Jailbreak” is also very well done and a favorite here at The Metal Blog of Metal. Incidentally, we loved Anthrax’s earlier cover of Lizzy’s “Cowboy Song” from when John Bush was in the band.  Such a great cover!   

One place where this release does excel is in the packaging.  Each CD is a digipak wrapped in a slipcase.  Each slipcase had a die-cut pentathrax on it that shows a bit of the artwork underneath.  Upon pulling the digipak out of the slipcase, one of six different covers is displayed – one for each different cover song.  That is very cool and will be sure to drive OCD fans crazy as they try to collect each cover variant.  Good job boys!



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The Bottom Line:  This is a decent little EP with sweet packaging that has definite collector appeal.  It’s not essential by any means, but if you like cover songs, run out and get it.  Also catch the band on the Metal Alliance Tour as they are throwing a couple of these songs into their set.

As always, MAKE MINE METAL!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

10 Inches of Doom!


Orchid – Wizard of War


Nuclear Blast Records – 2013

Muthas, the band that can do no wrong is back with a sweet 10” vinyl EP that features their new song, “Wizard of War.” This is a pre-release track from Orchid’s greatly anticipated second LP, The Mouths of Madness.  So, did Orchid shit the bed and succumb to pressure from their new label and change their sound?  Of course not!

The EP contains three tracks of doomy perfection straight out of some dreary, mist-shrouded graveyard.  Starting things off is the ripping title track, which cranks the tempo up and conjures images of interstellar destruction, madness and tyranny.  In other words, the kids can dance to it!  Uh, maybe not, but they certainly bang their heads to it. Check it out:



The second cut finds the band stretching themselves a bit and incorporating some early Alice Cooper sounds on the creepy “Demon’s Eyes.”  It’s a kickass mid-paced tune that is stuffed full of hooks and a memorable chorus.  It was previously released on the Grave Command: All Hallowed Hymns compilation from Unseen Forces last year, but this is the first widely available release of the song.  Take a listen:



The final track was previously released on the Capricorn album “Albatross.”  It’s a somber, spacey song that recalls “Planet Caravan.”  One huge difference between this and “Caravan” is the lyrical content.  “Planet Caravan” was about floating around the cosmos making love to your girl, but “Albatross” is about fleeing the Earth and settling Mars, only to have the Sun snuffed out by the dopes left on Earth. Bastards!  The Mars relocation plan was a dismal failure, but this song is excellent. 
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The Bottom Line:  Orchid have once again offered up a killer EP to placate the faithful until April 26th when The Mouths of Madness kicks the Metal world straight in its ass.  If vinyl is your thing, get out there and buy one.  If you like downloads and have no soul, you can download the title track from the usual suspects.  If you like CDs, you are shit out of luck.  Sorry man.

As always, MAKE MINE METAL!